“Sort it out World Rugby.”
Andy Goode has called on World Rugby to appoint a neutral Television Match Official for the British and Irish Lions’ test series with the Springboks.
South African referee Marius Jonker has been appointed as the TMO for all three tests between the Lions and the Springboks, after New Zealand’s Brendon Pickerill pulled out due to covid-related reasons.
Former England international Goode has concerns over a South African officiating his own country during the test series, and took to Twitter to call on World Rugby to find a neutral replacement for Pickerill.
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) July 22, 2021
Andy Goode calls on World Rugby to ‘sort out’ TMO debacle
“So a South African is now the TMO for all three Lions tests against the Springboks. Makes sense that, said no one ever! Sort it out World Rugby,” Goode tweeted.
Goode is not the only one frustrated by the appointment of Junker, as Lions head coach Warren Gatland was apparently “astonished” that a South African would be the TMO for the test series.
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) July 23, 2021
Robin McBryde bemoans the lack of a ‘plan B’.
The Lions’ forwards coach Robin McBryde was speaking about the decision this morning at a press conference, which they were only notified of on Wednesday.
“It was a bit unexpected. We only found out on Wednesday. There’s a slight lack of foresight because there’s a reason why that position is neutral,” McBryde commented.
“There’s no plan B put in place. You’ve just got to get on with it really. The role of the TMO, his say is pretty final with regards to communication between him and the referee.
“It is a very important position. I’m sure there will be no issues on weekend.”
While officiating teams are normally fully neutral, there have been several incidences since the beginning of the pandemic where referees have taken charge of games that involve their own country, three of which occurred in last year’s Tri-Nations.